Artistic Research

This academic year the ASCA Research Group on Artistic Research is organizing a series of five seminar sessions to which we would like to draw your attention.

The group focuses on Artistic Research as an approach to tackling research questions, and it aims at promoting the exchange of ideas between artists and scholars from a wide range of fields and disciplines. Artistic Research develops a discursive form of communicating research results in parallel with a non-discursive, artistic practice. This enables researchers/makers coming from fine arts, design, dance, film, performance art, theatre and music to share and compare processes of production, methodologies and results with the scholarly community, while working as practicing autonomous artists. It allows autonomous artists to delve deeper into the academic disciplines their work is already concerned with. Furthermore, Artistic Research contributes to existing disciplines by its double character of discursive/non-discursive processes and outputs, while at the same time presenting work within the context of existing art institutions. The outcomes of artistic research actively contribute to bridging the gap between university and art, and strive to make its body of knowledge visible in a societal context. By bringing academia and the art world together, artistic forms of research change the social status of both and introduce a potential array of practice-oriented methodologies that challenge institutionalized forms of knowledge production.

We will be organizing a series of five seminars between October 2017 and June 2018 to promote the exchange of ideas and experiences among artistic researchers and others interested in the field, and during which members of the group will present their research and receive feedback from their peers. One or two artistic researchers who have recently completed their PhD’s will be invited to share their process with the participants of the seminars. The participants include PhD candidates but also those who have already completed their PhDs but would like to keep discussing their artistic research within a community of like-minded artists/scholars. Those interested in maybe pursuing such an academic study are also welcome to join as well as Research Master students who wish to attain first-hand knowledge about the discipline.

The first guiding theme is “Spectrology and Hauntology” as the field of Artistic Research is constantly focusing on the complex relation between theory and practice and also engaged in discussions about the interdependence between form and content: dualities at the centre of most debates surrounding this emerging discipline. However, the theme is not prescriptive and the presentations are not required to have a direct connection to it.

The presentations can take the form the presenters find most suitable and productive: a film screening, a performance or a standard keynote or any other.

The meetings will place on Tuesday afternoons from 15:00 to 17:30 at the University of Amsterdam in the city centre (room to be announced) and end with a drink at Café De Jaren for those interested, so that participants get a chance to meet and engage in 101 discussions. As another possibility for an “after-Research Group” activity: Café Chercher takes place in some of these evenings and you could also go and take a look at short presentations of work-in-progress by artistic researchers at the Vox Pop. There is free soup and you can also have a drink with your fellow researchers and other artists.

Most sessions are still subject to confirmation and complete information will be timely sent to those interested in participating in the seminars (presenting is not mandatory). If you would like to attend our sessions, please contact the coordination of the research group at and Research master students who wish to prepare for and attend all the sessions in the series may earn 2 ECTS upon completion of the seminar.


October 31st 15:00-17:30 – Emily Huurdeman and Florian Göttke
Belle van Zuylenzaal, Singel 421-427, 1012 WP Amsterdam (UB)

Florian Göttke: Image Operations: Resemblance and the Grotesque

I am currently in the last phase of my PhD reserach entitled: Burning Images: performing effigies as political protest. I will introduce my way of collecting images, reading images and writing with images as a research method. The work results in assemblages of a large numbers of images. These function as non-linear narratives that form part of my dissertation and interact closely with the discursive text. As an example I will present a part of the chapter Resemblance and the Grotesque of my dissertation.

Emily Huurdeman: Essaying Art: The Essay as an Un-methodological Method for Artistic Research

In the relatively new field of Artistic Research, science and art are integrated. But the methods used by the artstic researcher are highly debated. How can we combine scientific and artistic working methods?

Science needs to articulate its sources, as well as its relevance and its context, and it must provide clear argumentation. Furthermore, it is strictly bound to academic and ethical rules. Art is not constraint by these methods and rules. The essay is aimed at combining the scientific and the artistic. It drifts between the artistic and the scientific, the experiential and the intellectual. The essay follows a train of thought, and critically reflects on those thoughts: it experiments and speculates. The investigation goes hand in hand with its form of presentation where the conceptual, the visual, and the æsthetic, have an essential role. What if artist uses the essay as an approach to making artistic works? The artistic researcher approaches the object(s) of investigation essayistically. The result can encompass multiple artistic mediums: literary-essay, video-essay, photo-essay, essayistic performance and more.In this article presentation I propose that an essayistic approach could be used as an un-methodological method (“methodically unmethodically” Adorno, 1958, p.161) in the field of Artistic Research.

The essay has fascinated me from the first time I saw an essay-film and read Adorno’s essay on the essay in my BA Fine Art Utrecht (NL). It influenced both my artistic and academic work. As an artist I mainly work with video performances and performative installations. During my research MA Artistic Research at The University of Amsterdam (NL) I researched the essay in relation to performance art. My current research at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam (NL) (MA Education in Arts) focuses on the possibility of the essay as basis for an un-methodological method in the educational field of artistic research. Besides participating in exhibitions and working as a teacher, I am the organizer and co-initiator of Café Chercher, an inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional platform for unfinished artistic research projects. For this monthly event I create short video essays (Clippings) reflecting on the themes of the evenings.

For more info:

December 19th 15:00-17:30 – Christa-Maria Lerm-Hayes and Barbara Alves
OMHP kamer C 1.17, Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, 1012 CN Amsterdam

Barbara Alves: Miscommunicating and Design: Researching Miscommunication as a Proposition for Designing Political Scenes

My presentation will focus on my PhD dissertation. The title is “Miscommunicating and Design: Researching Miscommunication as a Proposition for Designing Political Scenes”, and the PhD was developed at the design department of Goldsmiths, University of London, under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Gabrys (Sociology) and Prof. Bill Gaver (Design). In my dissertation, I forward the concept of miscommunication as a creative and productive part of communication. I explore miscommunication as a proposition for designing political scenes through three figures, that of the parasite, the idiot and the diplomat, borrowing from the theoretical framework of Michel Serres and Isabelle Stengers — exploring noise, impasses, forms of exchange that take on misunderstanding. I draw out material and performative dimensions of communication and eco-political modalities of practice, looking to foster new qualities of participation in public space.

Mia Lerm-Hayes: Ranges of Possibilities: Artistic Research from an empirical perspective

Elsewhere in the world (UK, Australia), artistic research by now has a fairly long history (it is also called practice-based research or, what I prefer: research with practice as part of the submission, for short: research with practice). Rather than speculatively asking what it can hypothetically be, I hope it will be useful – in a relatively open format – to look at what it has already been. I will present some selected examples of my own now completed PhD researchers’ work, enhanced by projects I observed from close range as Head of Research Graduate School in Belfast. In this way, we may be able together to gesture at future possibilities.


February 20th  15:00-17:30 – Guest artist/scholar Tine Melzer gives a talk about her project Taxidermy
Belle van Zuylenzaal

April 24th 15:00-17:30 – Lauryn Mannigel and Paula Albuquerque
Belle van Zuilenzaal

June 26th 15:00-17:30 – Isabel Cordeiro and Pedro Manuel
Bushuis kamer F 2.11B, Kloveniersburgwal 48 1012CX Amsterdam